Boots on the ground

TIMESLIVE PODCASTS  |  Podcast , ±26 min episodes every 3 weeks, 3 days  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
In this short podcast series, we follow Sunday Times top investigative journalists as they cover the real stories that make-up SA’s national headlines.

Boots on the ground is a true piece of mobile journalism — all interviews, voices and sound effects have been gathered using nothing but smartphones.

Boots on the ground is a production of MultimediaLIVE, a division of Arena Holdings.

PLEASE NOTE: This podcast may contain explicit and sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

#COVID-19, #SALockdown, #Coronavirus, #Investigation, #Police

Subscribe to this channel

You can subscribe to new audio episodes published on this channel. You can follow updates using the channel's RSS feed, or via other audio platforms you may already be using.

RSS Feed

You can use any RSS feed reader to follow updates, even your browser. We recommend using an application dedicated to listening podcasts for the best experience. iOS users can look at Overcast or Castro. Pocket Casts is also very popular and has both iOS and Android versions. Add the above link to the application to follow this podcast channel.

This channel is available for listening in the Pocket Casts web player, or via the iOS and Android Pocket Casts applications. Follow the above link to listen on Pocket Casts.

Pocket Casts

This channel is available for listening in the Pocket Casts web player, or via the iOS and Android Pocket Casts applications. Follow the above link to listen on Pocket Casts.


This channel is available on Spotify. Follow the link above to view episodes on Spotify.

Signup to

Sign up for a free user account to start building your playlist of podcast channels. You'll be able to build a personalised RSS feed you can follow or listen with our web player.

Hunting Ndlovu: the story behind the capture and prosecution of Rosemary Ndlovu

Family, for most, is a concept that represents togetherness, love and — despite the occasional conflict — a bond that supersedes most.
But recently convicted female serial killer and former police officer Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu saw her family more as a living pay cheque, ready to be harvested at will.
Ndlovu was found guilty of the murder of five of her relatives and one of her lovers. She arranged the brutal murder of her lover, sister, cousin, niece and two nephews to cash in on life and funeral policies, and according to the investigating officer on her case, tried to cash in on more policies while behind bars.
Today on Boots on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we get an opportunity to speak to investigators, prosecutors and journalists who had a very direct hand in bringing Ndlovu to justice. We will hear about the ins and outs of the investigation, including the efforts it took to keep the investigation from a fellow police officer and seasoned murderer. We will hear about the charges that are still pending, including those related to the murder of Ndlovu’s own son. And finally we will dissect Ndlovu’s court persona and how it shifted when media were allowed to cover her case.

Where is the international outrage for Lindani Myeni?

KwaZulu-Natal rugby player Lindani Myeni had been on the phone with his wife Lindsay. He had told his wife he would be home “soon”, but Lindsay and their two young children would never hear from him again.
Myeni was shot by officers in Honolulu’s police force while they were responding to a call about an alleged burglary in progress. He was outside and unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Police shootings have been a hot issue in the US for many years. Research by renowned American news agency the Washington Post and the business data platform Statista indicate fatal police shootings in the US are increasing, with 292 civilians shot, 62 of them black, in the first four months of 2021. In 2020, there were 1,021 fatal police shootings.
The rate of fatal police shootings among black Americans is much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 36 fatal shootings per million of the population as of April 2021.However, there is little outrage for Myeni, or sympathy for his widow and children.

The children orphaned by Covid-19

Grace Rohan cannot understand why at seven years old she no longer has a daddy while her mother, who is in her 40s, still has hers.The grade 2 pupil from Durban and her 18-year-old brother, Daniel, are mourning their father, José, who died of Covid-19 in February, a month after he turned 51.About 1,600km away in Langa, Cape Town, Sindiswa Lugulwana, 70, asks God to grant her a long life. She cares for three orphaned grandchildren whose single-parent mothers - twin sisters Phumla and Phumeza - both died of Covid-19 in January at the age of 45.And in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Dewald Badenhorst, 14, is mourning the death of his father and his stepmother, who died days apart in January. He is being cared for by his brother, Billy, 24.Today on Boot’s on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we are going to listen to the stories of those who the pandemic has left orphaned. We are going to take a moment to remember the person they have lost and to mourn with them.

Raped and then raped again: an 11-year-old's horror story

Somewhere in Burgersfort, Limpopo, there is an 11-year-old girl whose life will never be the same. She sits quietly on a bright red wooden bench beneath a tree, gripping her father's hand.
Her parents fear she is on the verge of another epileptic fit. Since her second rape, the fits have intensified.
As her father speaks about the family's anxious wait for her HIV results, the girl watches leaves blow across the dusty front yard of their home.
She is seated just a stone’s throw away from the outdoor toilet that served as the scene of her first assault.  
In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind South Africa’s National Headlines, we are going to interrogate sexual assault and the scourge of gender-based violence in SA.

One year of Covid-19: Reflecting on SA's biggest moments

Today marks exactly a year since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in SA. Since that day there have been 1,517,666 confirmed cases and 50,462 Covid-19-related deaths countrywide.

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we relive some of the most memorable moments from the pandemic - moments we ought not to forget, as we continue to wage war against Covid-19.

Covid-19 is no hoax, people are dying to keep you safe

South African front-line health-care staff have been tirelessly battling the Covid-19 pandemic since the country's first cases were recorded in March last year. 

In the latest official figures,close to 47,000 South Africans have died as a direct result of the virus, and the actual death toll is estimated to be a lot higher.Every day South African paramedics, nurses, doctors and other front-line workers risk it all, in an attempt to save as many people as they can.

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we send one of our toughest videographers, Emile Bosch, behind the veil at Tembisa Hospital, where he is confronted with his worst fear: being isolated and alone in a Covid-19 ICU ward.

Murdered over a mine: the story of Fikile Ntshangase's assassination

Six bullets. That’s what it took to silence 65-year-old KwaZulu-Natal grandmother and anti-mine activist Fikile Ntshangase.

Her crime? Standing firm in opposition to the expansion of a coal mine in her community.

In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we look into the assassination of uMama Ntshangase, an anti-mine activist from northern KwaZulu-Natal, and we consider the environment of intimidation in which she and other vocal anti-mine activists find themselves.

Marikana | Justice delayed is justice denied

When the ninth anniversary of the Marikana massacre comes, the trial of the police officers implicated in the murders of five people who were killed at the mine on August 13  2012 — three days before the massacre — will be nowhere near conclusion.

This as the court case, which is being heard in the North West High Court, was postponed on Friday.

Both the state and defence agreed to have the matter postponed to May 10 2021. When the case returns to court then, it will only sit for three weeks before being postponed again to July.

A war is raging: cash-in-transit heists escalate

SA’s cash heist season has struck early with armed gangs launching waves of deadly attacks which have already left 24 people dead and dozens injured this year.

Criminologists and CIT companies say driving the surge, which began in August two months ahead of the annual November heist peak, is the easing of lockdown regulations.

Despite the lockdown, SA Banking Risk Information Centre data, showed a 29% increase in cash van attacks between 2019 and 2020.

The killing of Kinnear: a community demands justice

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we look into the assassination of Lt-Col Charl Kinnear, one of SA’s most respected police officers and commander of the police's anti-gang unit. 

The Boots on the Ground podcast is dedicated to unravelling some of SA’s biggest news stories. It follows Sunday Times reporters as they investigate the stories making the headlines. 

Survivors recount their farm attack experiences

When she hears of a farmer and their family brutally attacked, tortured or murdered, emerging Bloemfontein farmer Mimmie Jakobs has flashbacks to the moment three men burst into her home.

Stabbed multiple times, beaten to a pulp, her jaw broken, face fractured and left for dead, Jakobs, who farms lucerne and pecan nuts, stumbled for nearly 14km through neighbours fields through the dark before she found help.

Seven months since her attack in February, and following multiple week long hospital admissions, Jakobs, likes hundreds of established and emerging farmers who have survived violent attacks, is battling to get back onto her feet and keep her farm productive.

In todays episode, we follow Sunday Times senior reporter Graeme Hoskens as he talks to the survivors of farm attacks.

The uncollected dead of Covid-19

A new directive from the health department that anyone who dies of natural causes outside a hospital be tested for Covid-19 before a death certificate is issued has thrown the funeral industry into confusion.

The instruction, issued on Wednesday by health director-general Sandile Buthelezi, has sparked anger and confusion among undertakers and health professionals who say it will delay burials and pose health risks.

The directive states that "testing must be done before the human remain[s] are released to the funeral undertaker".

The new regulation is aimed at improving statistics on the number of Covid-19-positive people dying outside of hospitals. This data could affect SA's Covid-19 death toll, which is currently 2%. Health experts believe the number could be four times higher.

39 episodes

« Back 13—24 More »